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Air Force Academy senior faces up to 15 years in drug court-martial

More than 1,300 basic cadets salute June 26 during their first reveille formation at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Mike Kaplan/U.S. Air Force)
July 18, 2020

An Air Force Academy senior faces court-martial next week on 18 drug-related allegations, the school announced Thursday.

Cadet Travis M. Amsbaugh of Mobile, Ala., is charged with using marijuana, cocaine, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, opioids and other drugs. He’s also charged with plans to distribute cocaine, Xanax, a prescription anxiety drug, and oxycodone, an opium-based pain drug.

Amsbaugh, who was home-schooled through high school, was on the academy’s fencing team through his sophomore year. He earned fifth-place honors at the academy’s Nick Toth Open, which draws college fencers from around the country and went 3-0 in head-to-head matches against the University of Florida.

Charges were issued against Amsbaugh last year, with allegations of drug use dating back to December 2016.

The most serious charges allege Amsbaugh intended to distribute drugs, which can bring 15 years in prison. The drug-use charges carry a maximum sentence of five years.

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The least serious charges against Amsbaugh allege that he was derelict in his duties, which can bring a three-month sentence.

Amsbaugh’s trial was set to begin Monday at the academy, which has been closed to the public due to coronavirus concerns. The media will be allowed at Amsbaugh’s trial under new social-distancing rules in the courtroom, the academy said.

He’s the fourth cadet to face court-martial in the past year, including football players at the school who pleaded guilty to cocaine use.

It was unclear Thursday whether Amsbaugh’s case was related to the others.

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© 2020 The Gazette